The Bucs brought their own sunshine in the first. Jorge De La Rosa was touched up for back-to-back homers on back-to-back pitches by Cutch and David Freese. With two outs and the bases empty, a walk, HBP and Josh's single off the SS's glove made it 3-0. Cutch happened again in the second to make it 4-0. But Colorado chipped back, scoring single runs in the second, fourth and fifth frames on a collection of singles, a homer, walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball to cut the gap to 4-3. It would have been tied had not the combination of Starling's arm and a great snag and swipe by Fran cut down Geraldo Parro at home, a bang-bang play that survived review.
|Cutch happens (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Enough, said the Pirates. Gregory doubled, and an out later Jordy walked ahead of Cutch, who lost his third baseball of the night by banging a three run shot off Christian Bergman heat. Starling got into the act, banging another ball yard off Gonzalez Germen, and the nail biter was suddenly 8-3. The Rox, helped by a misthrow, answered with a run of their own.
The Cole Train was done after six, giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits with two walks, a wild pitch and three whiffs after 103 pitches. Pittsburgh went quietly in the seventh, and Arquimedes Caminero made it a little more interesting than need be, walking the first pair of Rox. The next batter lined out to Cutch, and a timely 6-4-3 kept the Rockies at bay.
The last two innings played out calmly for the Bucs. Neftali Feliz and Rob Scahill each gave up a walk (the Pirates added six more free passes to their league leading number) but no runs, and Gregory singled home a salt-in-the-wound score in the ninth, chasing Fran home to make the final 9-4.
|Gregory is hitting .333 (photo Brian Kerbey/Getty Images)|
The Cole Train was good enough, reverting to a fastball heavy game plan against Colorado.He said with the lead, he just wanted to stay aggressive, and Clint noted that breaking balls don't spin very well in the thin Denver air. As for Cutch, well, a day off sure did wonders for his stick. He told the press gang afterward that he had "found something" while recently working in the cages; hope he doesn't lose whatever it was he found.
- Cutch has hit three home runs in a game twice during his career (the other time was in 2009 v the Nats). McCutchen joined Ralph Kiner (four), Willie Stargell (four) and Roberto Clemente (two) as Pirates to have multiple three-homer games. He also became the third player to have 10 multi-home run games while spending his entire career with the Pirates. Willie Stargell (36) and Roberto Clemente (13) are the others.
- Andrew wasn't alone; the Bucs went long five times, and Jordy just missed one, doubled off the newly extended fence in right and becoming the first non-Rockie to lose a homer to the new configuration.
- Cutch's three hits led the way; Jordy Fran and Gregory added a pair of knocks each as the Bucs totaled 12 hits.
- The Pirates have hit at least one double in every game this year.
- In the Central, the Cubs are first with 15 wins, the Bucs second with 12 (3-1/2 games back) and the Cards third with 11 victories (four games off the pace.) The big three...